Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Non-native crayfishes, mollusks, and macrophytes can have large impacts on biodiversity and damage ecosystem services in freshwaters. In 2015 we discovered an established population of the globally widespread invader red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in the North Shore Channel of the Chicago Area Waterway System. This population overlaps with a population of rusty crayfish (Faxonius rusticus), a previous invader that is widely distributed and usually the dominant crayfish species across the Great Lakes region. I studied the interactions between these two species while directly competing over shelter and food. In the field, each species was studied to determine the rate of predation in a channel with murky water, and a harbor with clear water. This overlapping population was discovered while sampling for crayfish species throughout the Chicago region. Crayfish are poorly sampled in the Great Lakes Region, leaving large gaps in knowledge of native and non-native crayfish distribution. I examined the role that artificial habitat and anthropogenic changes have on crayfish distribution and created an and updated distribution of crayfishes in the Chicago region. I also studied the relationship between the arrangement of anthropogenic habitat to non-burrowing mollusks and macrophytes. The density and species composition were compared between habitat types. I aimed to study the role that human habitats play in the distribution of non-native and native crayfish, mollusks, and macrophytes.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.